The Dublin-based liqueur company Baileys Irish Cream is suing Eli's Cheesecake for continuing to use the Baileys logo without permission on an Irish-cream-flavored cake.
The Chicago-based company did have rights to use the logo, but that was nearly 12 years ago, reports the Sun Times. Baileys let Eli's use the logo for just four months, from September 1999 to January 2000, to market a Millennium Cheesecake, according to the lawsuit the liqueur company filed in a federal court in Chicago last week.
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However, Eli's continued to use the Baileys' logo and won't promise to refrain using it, according to the suit. Baileys is also saying that Eli's pirated the distinctive eyebrow-shaped design, misspelled Baileys with an apostrophe and doesn't even use Baileys Irish Cream liqueur in the cheesecake, but only in the whipped topping.
“The ‘Baileys Cheesecake’ product sold by defendant has been described by defendant as ‘[a] luxurious layer of Irish Cream cheesecake filled with Baileys Irish Cream whipped topping, a splash of chocolate and a dusting of imported cocoa.’”
The suit states. “Notably, this description does not state that the defendant’s product includes any amount of Baileys Irish Cream liqueur in the cheesecake itself, rather it is in its ‘whipped topping.’”
An Eli's marketing employee said the company has been using the logo for "eight or nine years."
The cheesecake company was founded by Eli Schulman in Chicago in 1977.
Baileys started in Ireland in 1974 and came to the United States in 1979. The company has lent its name to other products, such as Haagen-Daz ice cream and chocolates. The lawsuit states that it is the world's top-selling liqueur brand.
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